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Turkey threatens US with retaliation over Russian S-400 missiles

Turkey will never retreat on its deal to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems, the country’s foreign minister said on Friday.

“We will never take a step back [on the S-400s],” Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency’s segment Editor’s Desk in the capital Ankara.

“We will continue our dedication in order to be an independent and free nation,” Cavusoglu said.

His remarks came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey has already bought the Russian S-400 system and is set to receive delivery next month.

Cavusoglu stressed that if the US takes negative steps towards Turkey, Ankara would have countermeasures.

Tensions between the US and Turkey have risen in recent months over Ankara purchasing the system, which Washington said will jeopardise Turkey’s role in the US F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions.

Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defence system from the US with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the Russian S-400 system.

US officials advised Turkey to buy the US Patriot missile system rather than the S-400s, arguing the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

The Turkish Foreign Minister did not elaborate on the countermeasures Turkey plans against the USA.

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